If you’re looking to build your own instruments and effects and sequencers and play with patching, you really don’t want this software. No, seriously – while a fascinating, fun tech demo, something like the desktop Pd or Max is probably what you want. (As we saw earlier this week, Pd-extended just got much easier to use, and it’s free.) This makes sound, but it’s also buggy and in progress and likely more of interest to coders.

Okay, now having scared off some people, let’s talk nerd-to-nerd for a second. Patchosaur, an open-source, GitHub-hosted project by BADAMSON, is nonetheless seriously cool, demonstrating not only what’s possible in a browser but what Webby technologies can do for creative music-making. Powered by network-centric node.js, it does do a lot of things Pd and Max do. And it demonstrates why some of us in the Pd community are wondering if Web-style front-ends could be the future of user interfaces.

If none of that previous paragraph made any sense to you, let’s put it another way:

The stuff in your browser will continue to make all the software you use better. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

You might be running software in a browser. You might not. You might get to the point where you don’t really care. But as what makes a computer a computer still remains more or less the same, your computer can continue to improve, free. And that’s pretty great.

If that sounds interesting, music nerdsters, then check out the guts of Patchosaur:

Thanks to Brendan Adamson for sending in this project. I just hope I’ve inadvertently derailed – slash – inspired someone’s end-of-the-semester coding project. Let us know.